The Liturgical Classroom is a phrase that was new to me last summer and kept coming up throughout the year, getting up close and personal as I prepared for Challenge B. While I've thought of education as Spiritual Training (Discipleship) for decades and believe that academics is really about the high calling of Knowing God and Making Him know, the word Liturgy kind of threw me.
I heard Jenny speak last year at the Circe Conference, and the thing that impressed me most about her session was that she asked everyone to stand, raise their hands and sing the Doxology together. It was reverent, touching and inspiring. I brought that home to our CC Challenge Community Days last year; we often started our days by singing the Doxology together. While devotions were de riguer, singing together tangibly changed the atmosphere. We were all vunerable, active, participatory and humble before each other. It set a clear and distinct tone for the day and while none of us were phenomenal singers, we were all earnest, and grateful to be singing in community as it made Ecclesiastes 4:9- Two are better than one- come alive in a fresh way.
And then we did Devotions and prayer. But this year, I really want to be more intentionally focused on the whole reason we are working so hard academically, and what the whole point of community is. Sure, we want our kids well trained in order to have good vocational options. But like I have often said, smart people with no moral grounding are often arrogant people and that's not really the look we're going for. And, too, we want our kids to have friends. But beyond that, what?
My answer to that question is that I want my kids- your kids, our kids, all kids- to understand a few things
Study as worship, Life-long wonder and learning, Study/learning=freedom.
Community = Two are better than One, for they have a good return for their labor (Ecc 4:9). There is a lot of labor in life, When you stumble, a good friend will help you find your footing. We all stumble. You need good friends to help you find your way, keep your faith, guide your vision.
My goal for our Community Day is more robust this year. I want to create a Liturgical Classroom -not so that our kids can rotely recall words, but so that they can realize that they met God this year- in their studies, during Community Day, as they play and fellowship and eat together- and that they will be changed by the wonder and beauty of it all. A lofty goal, to be sure. But when we seek Him, we are sure to find Him.
A Liturgical ClassroomSing Doxology together and then student-led Devotions and prayer.
Prayer as we break for lunch
Give us grateful hearts, Father of all, for your mercies and make us remember the needs of others. Bless, O Lord, your gifts to our use and us to your service. Blessed are you, O Lord, King of the Universe, for you give us food to sustain our lives and make our hearts glad. For these and all your mercies, may your Holy Name be blessed and praised through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Prayer as we resume our studies in the afternoon:
Almighty and eternal God, draw our hearts to you, guide our minds, fill our imaginations, control our wills. That we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you, and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always to your glory and the good of your people, through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
10 minute close to day:
Collect (Lectio): One thing you want to remember that you learned today
Connect (Meditatio): One thing you learned today and how it connected to something you learned earlier,
Create (Compositi): One thing you learned want to live out -write a sentence, story, poem or draw a picture about it to share.
As the students leave for the day
"God be with you/ And also with you."
We did touch on the Collect, Connect and Create last year a bit, doing it a few times. I want to make it a discipline this year. Along with the Salutations and prayers. I do believe this will add structure to transition times and a better sense of order and purpose throughout the day. And, of course, vision, without which a people will perish.
Soli Deo gloria!